Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Noise Levels in a Medical Intensive Care Unit

Version 1 : Received: 26 July 2018 / Approved: 30 July 2018 / Online: 30 July 2018 (12:05:35 CEST)

How to cite: He, J.; Li, H.; Chen, X.; Jin, S.; Chen, M.; Shi, L.; Su, F. Noise Levels in a Medical Intensive Care Unit. Preprints 2018, 2018070588. He, J.; Li, H.; Chen, X.; Jin, S.; Chen, M.; Shi, L.; Su, F. Noise Levels in a Medical Intensive Care Unit. Preprints 2018, 2018070588.


This study was undertaken to investigate and analyze noise pollution in a large Chinese governmental hospital’s medical intensive care unit and compare to the WHO guidelines.This cross-sectional study was conducted in a MICU at a public governmental teaching hospital in Fujian province between July and August of 2017. A WENSN® WS1361 Integrated Sound Level Meter (China) was used for continuous every five seconds one week noise levels recording. After this measurement, the decibel meter was used for recording different location of isolation rooms and open bays, including occupied and unoccupied patient, and recording sound events occurs in the ICU to identify sources of noise. Peak and average noise levels were obtained from the meter, and data were downloaded from the WS1361 into a laptop computer. The measured mean equivalent sound pressure levels (L) and standard Aeq deviation over one week period were 66.64±7.57 dB(A), with acute spikes reaching 119.7 dB(A), the average sound level for a 24 hour period in a work day was 68.03±5.07 dB(A). These are higher than the current daytime environmental noise limit of 40-45 decibels in China and WHO. Mean work day noise was significantly louder than weekend time, there was a significant difference in work days and weekend (t=16.85;P=0.000).There was a statistical difference between the day time and night time shifts (t=34.67;P=0.000). The isolation rooms were significantly quieter than the open-bay rooms(t=46.15; p=0.00), sound levels in the occupied and unoccupied rooms also had significant difference(t=17.26; P=0.000).Two types of noise resources, including twenty kinds sources were identified and measured, mean noise levels ranged from of 61.33 to 79.21 dB(A). This study shows noise levels in intensive care units were exceeded the recommended. The study of the influence of noise on patient and staff is needed, and noise reduction strategies must be conduct in ICU.


Noise; Noise Levels; Noise Measurement; Medical Intensive Care Units; Nursing


Public Health and Healthcare, Nursing

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